Iran President Hassan Rouhani expressd his total surprise Wednesday that elements of the country’s military had downed a Ukraine passenger jet last week, saying ” we did not think such a mistake would happen.”
Rouhani was speaking at the start of a cabinet session on Wednesday morning when he touched on the demise of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752.
The president acknowledged the country’s culpability in the tragedy but said it was done with the best of intentions on behalf of Iran’s “security,” the semi-official Iran Students’ News Agency reports. He said:
The fact that a jetliner carrying dear people from different nationalities, especially Iranians, was mistakenly shot down, was unexpected for us as well and we did not think such a mistake would happen.
Of course, those who made the mistake are the same people who are making attempts for the country’s security. Our people are ready to stand tall against these incidents.
Despite his acknowledgement that Iran’s military had fired the missiles at the Ukraine jet, Rouhani still maintains the overall blame for the incident, “goes back to America.”
Rouhani also issued a threat against Europe in a wide-ranging speech that directly criticize Britain, France and Germany for starting the so-called “dispute process” of the Obama-negotiated 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal.
“Today, the American soldier is in danger, tomorrow the European soldier could be in danger,” Rouhani said. He did not elaborate.
On Tuesday, the European nations triggered the accord’s dispute mechanism to force Iran into discussions, starting the clock on a process that could result in the “snapback” of U.N. and E.U. sanctions on Iran.